Poirot reluctantly agrees to help an Egyptian prince recover a valuable royal ruby that was brazenly stolen from him during the Christmas holidays.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Frederick Treves ...
Colonel Lacey
Mrs Lacey
David Howey ...
Tariq Alibai ...
Helena Michell ...
Sarah Lacey
John Vernon ...
David Welwyn
Nigel Le Vaillant ...
Desmond Lee-Wortley
Robyn Moore ...
John Dunbar ...
Alessia Gwyther ...
Jonathan R. Scott ...
Colin (as Jonathan S. Bancroft)
Edward Holmes ...
Siobhan Garahy ...
Annie Bates
Susan Field ...
Mrs Ross


When Prince Farouq of Egypt foolishly lets a tart wear a fabulously valuable royal ruby, she simply walks away with it. With Hastings away in Scotland for the Christmas holidays, Poirot finds himself spending Christmas with the Lacey family. Colonel Lacey, a well-known Egyptologist, was one of the few people who knew the ruby was in England. As Poirot investigates, he learns that the Colonel is having financial difficulties and also that one of the house guests, Desmond Lee-Wortley, may not be of the soundest character. With the help of the children in the household, Poirot sets a trap for the thief. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

murder mystery | See All (1) »





Release Date:

24 February 1991 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


(36 episodes)


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Did You Know?


The house where Poirot stays for Christmas has been used in other stories such as "The Disappearance of Mr. Davenheim." See more »


The cook had prepared two plum puddings, a large one for Christmas and a smaller one for New Years. The larger one was dropped while being cooked and it was stated that the smaller one was served at Christmas but during the meal it was obviously the larger pudding served. See more »


[first lines]
Prince Farouk: One of my father's most valued possessions. From the reign of the Pharaoh Pherisees.
[Waiter empties Champagne into his glass]
Prince Farouk: Some more.
Waiter: Yes, Your Highness.
Prince Farouk: And some coffee for the woman.
Waiter: Very good, Your Highness.
Prince Farouk: [as Iris rises] Where're you going?
Iris Moffatt: Just going to powder my nose; won't be a minute.
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O Come, All Ye Faithful
Lyrics (English translation from Latin) by Frederick Oakeley
Lyrics and Music by John Francis Wade
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User Reviews

Rather obvious but with much to redeem it
26 June 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I have always been a big Agatha Christie and Poirot fan, so naturally I do love the Poirot ITV series. The Theft of the Royal Ruby is not one of the jewels of the series(After the Funeral, Sad Cypress, Five Little Pigs and Wasp's Nest) but hardly one of the bad eggs either(in fact none of them are actually terrible as such, but there have been three or four disappointments like Taken at the Flood, Murder of Roger Ackroyd, Adventure of Johnnie Waverly and Cards at the Table). I do agree that in regards to the story there are far more ingenious entries to the series, the story here doesn't hold that many surprises in regard to the perpetrator's identity and there seems to be a lot of coincidence also. However, the adaptation is very sumptuously made, as ever elegant and evocative with lots of attention to detail, and the music is of the hauntingly beautiful quality you'd expect. The dialogue has many droll and intelligent moments, and the acting is very good with David Suchet as always impeccable as Poirot. But what also made the episode worth watching was its sense of warmth and atmosphere for the Christmas season, it does have a likable and heart-warming feel to it which I loved. In conclusion, not one of the best but worth watching all the same. 8/10 Bethany Cox

7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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